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FOOD REVIEW: El Fogoncito

Louis Fowler / Red Dirt Report
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In the midst of the numerous local Caucasian-centered heist-jobs of Mexican cuisine that have opened up across the Northwest quadrant of the Metro, all full of artifice and appropriation, La Raza comes back swinging—and swinging fuerte—in the form of El Fogoncito, 3020 N. Walker Ave., most surprisingly in the Paseo District.

With a menu that serves the type of semi-traditional fare that you’d find in an upscale Mexico City taqueria (or better), El Fogoncito immediately breaks the stereotyped mold of stringed lightbulbs and reappropriated wood as soon as you walk in through the doors and are welcomed by vibrant urban art depicting Aztec warriors daring to bare their teeth and macuahuitls proudly, surely turning away some more sensitive Paseo purse-clutchers from the get-go.

(Louis Fowler / Red Dirt Report)

With owners hailing from San Luis Potosí, the fine line between authentic and experimental is deliciously blurred, featuring a slim but sturdy menu that proudly celebrate the basics of true Mexican cuisine while still capturing a brash rebeldía that is secure in its flavors and ingredients in such a way that it might be off-putting to those looking for gentrified fare that doesn’t go too far outside a certain Escondido-based comfort zone.

It’s hard to find Molletes ($7.50) in this one-taco town, but damned if El Fogoncito doesn’t offer the finest variation of this traditional open-faced sandwich I’ve had in a while. Served on a toasted bolillo from a local bakery and topped with Bistek, cheese, beans and a special salsa Mexicana, it was a wonderful indulgence or two that will make this a worthy return engagement.

(Louis Fowler / Red Dirt Report)

It’s hard to ignore the extremadamente salado slab of spindled meat on the counter, the sizzling juices of the al pastor ready to be carved on everything from tacos to tortas and I wasn’t immune to their herald’s clarion call, ordering up two al a carte tacos ($3.75) and practically inhaling that sumptuous sliced shawarma-styled meat, topped with a tart and tangy house relish that enhance that breathability of the whole experience.

(Louis Fowler / Red Dirt Report)

As I was about to order two more—yeah, I roll like that, guey—I asked about their barbacoa. Locally, most barbacoa is a chiste and a regrettably unfunny one at that, often times duping unsuspecting diners with shredded beef covered in a moderate dosage of adobo seasoning; aye Dios mio, not at El Fogoncito! As a matter of fact, the head chef was so personally proud of his traditional barbacoa—cabeza and all—that he made me a special taco because he wanted me to try it.

And he was right on the dinero. The perfectly piquant flavor was packed into the strands of slow-cooked face-meat, the typically greasy pools of oil practically non-existent in a way few locally or otherwise dare to serve. I think next visit I am going to definitely want to try this blessed concoction on a torta, judicially packed on a rolled with avocados and other assorted green and reds.

From its location in a desperately Latino-starved area of the Metro to their beautifully constructed menu that’s more reliant on absolute flavor rather than fickle fanbase, El Fogoncito is la neta, bro. Be it a light lunch or a dinnertime devouring worthy of an Aztlán warrior’s homecoming, or, at the very least, filling your fat gut after a moderately hard day, it’s about time we got a neighborhood Mexican restaurant worthy of even writing home about. ¡Cómpralo ya!

El Fogoncito
3020 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: (405) 225-1583

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About the Author

Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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